Friday, July 24, 2015

360 degrees

I have had the outdoors on my mind all week and mounting my new scope on my rifle last night only brought back memories to last season when I spent quality time with my closest friends on several trips to the great outdoors. One of these trips lead to my greatest accomplishment of my life - a very nice buck.

However, I began this morning with college football on my mind - perhaps after dreaming about a Yeti cooler last night. Yes, my focus shifted from my scope to reflecting on last hunting season to dreaming about Yeti coolers. If you interpreted all of that, here is more: shortly after my feet hit the floor, I received an invitation to the Buckmaster's Expo next month, so my mind was back on hunting. Full circle. But, before you call me nuts or say I may suffer from ADD, I received THE catalog from Red Head today which furthered my thoughts of climbing a tree or pitching camp. I am not talking about their little fall magazine either. I mean the big book. 600 pages.

So, while I may have a slight case of ADD, I believe it was meant to be. Scope, memories, cooler, football, hunting, catalog. Yep, that is destiny. It is 100 degrees outside, but 35 degrees with an earthly scent in my mind.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Confederate Flags Removed

What are your thoughts about the confederate flag debates the last few weeks? South Carolina removed it from their capital building. I am having a hard time understanding how this symbol of the Civil War is offensive to some. In fact, it was this war that ended slavery; a war in which white people fought and died. It placed brothers against brothers in some cases and was a monumental time in our nation's history.

I would hope that those who are offended would just try to change their perception a bit. How about instead of viewing the flag as a reminder of slavery, view it as a reminder of freedom. It is not about racism, so that should never be part of the conversation. If it were, then the white race would not have lost lives to help free the black race.

I will tell you now that I have many black friends, so please do not just call me a racist without putting deep thought into my questions or because I do not understand the offense created by the flag. Should one say, "Well, every time I see the flag, it reminds me of my ancestors who were slaves." To that I would ask, "Do you think of Martin Luther King's murder every time you see a parkway named after him?"

I believe the answer to that would be how he fought for equality, his famous speech, and many other positive thoughts - not the negative ones. You see, we make our own decisions as to what triggers our emotions and associations. So why cannot one choose to associate the flag as a positive thought - freedom?

Let us all work together to make this world better; to change our perceptions; to help others change theirs. Change mine if I am wrong, but do not criticize. Help me understand.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Congratulations, Dale Earnhardt, Jr!

I do not know how race car drivers put the past behind them, as the famed Dale, Jr. has regarding his dad's death on the very track in which he won this weekend. Ironically, the last lap of this race included a very bad accident involving another #3, Austin Dillon, as the 2001 race did which cost Dale, Sr. his life. Dillon, the grandson of Richard Childress, teamowner of the #3 both then and now, climbed out of the mangled car bruised. After Dale, Sr's, crash, the #3 was retired and Childress said, "You will never see #3 on another car." I guess grandchildren not only consume hearts, but they make you forget about one's promises and maybe even the hearts of others.

I wonder how Dale, Jr. really feels about seeing the #3 again, passing by it lap after lap, seeing the horrific crash Childress's young grandson survived. Sure, Childress seeked Dale, Jr's blessings before the unveiling, but I doubt one ever gets over the loss of their parent, especially when they worked together.

An interview prior to Sunday's race with Dale, Jr. and Steve Letarte consisted of them watching film together of Dale's first win at Daytona. One could tell that Dale was holding the tears back as he relived a race in which he won. It was, indeed, a touching moment followed by excellent comments from first-year broadcaster Letarte, who was Earnhardt, Jr's crew chief for a few years. If the emotion of watching his victory overcomes him, we can only guess at what he feels each time he passes turns 3 and 4 of Daytona.

Congratulations, Dale, for winning the race, beating the emotions that probably told you to quit racing, and for creating your own legacy. You are greatly admired. I could not do that.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday, America. Like a family, may our own internal challenges make us better, while our differences remain invisible to those those who think from afar, "AMERICA!"

America. A country so beautiful and full of opportunity that people are willing to walk for days in the very hot temperatures of a desert, or paddle an old wooden boat across the ocean, to get to this free place, while some who are already here are leaving to join those who wish to destroy America.

I wonder what those risking their lives to get here would say to those leaving in hopes of hurting us, if they ever meet on the trail and had coffee.